Gestures That Won the Midterms

I've spoken extensively with Don Khoury, proprietor of Body Language TV, about the role of body language and nonverbal communication in elections. With a 95% success rate in predicting the outcome of this cycle's gubernatorial elections, Khoury recently broke down the winning gestures in several races. Here are his analyses for the gubernatorial contests in California, Ohio, Illinois, and Massachusetts.


California
Jerry Brown (D) def. Meg Whitman (R)

Khoury: "Meg Whitman oscillated far more then Jerry Brown. She did a lot of wringing of her hands and used a lot of insincere facial expressions. There was a lot of shrugging, too: she shrugged four times in their first debate, indicating that she's either unsure of her answer or doesn't care.

"The other interesting thing was Jerry Brown's 'one-two-three' counting on his fingers, showing a level of mental organization. He did this sixteen times; Whitman did it only four times. Brown used humor far more than Whitman, putting the audience at ease.

"Whitman wasn't the right candidate. One interesting thing about Jerry Brown's performance: He was able to be aggressive without being angry with an opposite gender candidate, and that's very difficult to do."

CAlifornia.jpg

Jerry Brown - From the heart.png

Whitman - Unfelt smile.pngAll images courtesy of Don Khoury/Body Language TV

Presented by

Jared Keller is a journalist based in New York. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, Pacific Standard, and Al Jazeera America, and is a former associate editor for The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In